Strange Adventures in Infinite Space

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Strange Adventures in Infinite Space
Developer(s)Digital Eel
Publisher(s)Cheapass Games
Astraware
Designer(s)Rich Carlson
Iikka Keranen
Programmer(s)Iikka Keranen
Artist(s)Bill Sears
Composer(s)Rich Carlson
SeriesInfinite Space
EngineProprietary
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, macOS, Classic Mac OS, Palm Pilot, Linux
Release2002
Genre(s)Roguelike
Mode(s)Single-player

Strange Adventures In Infinite Space is a roguelike video game created by the indie developer Digital Eel and released for Windows and Mac on March 15, 2002 by boardgame developer-publisher, Cheapass Games. It was later released for Pocket PC and Palm by British developer-publisher Astraware.

Strange Adventures is considered one of the first rogue-lite games, a hybrid of roguelikes and other types of games.

Gameplay[edit]

In Strange Adventures In Infinite Space the game players explore a "plausibly implausible" fictional region of the Milky Way galaxy called The Purple Void.

Strange Adventures In Infinite Space sets itself up differently each time it is played. Stars, black holes, planets, nebulae, artifacts, alien patrols, gadgets, lifeforms and dozens of events and encounters are randomized for each game session. Unlike conventional roguelikes, Strange Adventures In Infinite Space features graphics, music and sound, and game sessions typically last from 3 to 20 minutes, hence the game's tagline "Explore the galaxy in 20 minutes or less!"

Development[edit]

Strange Adventures In Infinite Space was created by the independent game development group Digital Eel and released on March 15, 2002 by boardgame developer-publisher Cheapass Games.

Digital Eel credited the game's inspiration to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbury, and Star Control creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III.[1][2]

Free re-releases[edit]

On November 11, 2005, the source code became freely available under the GNU GPL,[3][4] though without the other game content. Since September 28, 2009, Strange Adventures In Infinite Space was made available as freeware, including the game content.[5] Due to the source code availability ports to alternative platforms emerged, for instance for the ARM and Linux based OpenPandora.[6][7] It was also released for Pocket PC and Palm by British developer/publisher, Astraware. License changed to GPLv3 and assets to CC-BY-NC-4.0 on May 18, 2020.[8]

In 2020, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space was reissued by Digital Eel and Chris Collins with support for contemporary Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. Digital Eel opted to make the release for free, and included community mods that were developed to expand the game on its original release.[9]

Sequels[edit]

Digital Eel followed Strange Adventures In Infinite Space with a self-funded sequel, working on the game for one and a half years part-time.[10] Designer Rich Carlson described the game as "a hybrid, part strategy game, part adventure game and part starship combat game, similar in some ways to games like Pirates! and Star Control II."[10] Their goal for the game's development was to add features that had previously been left out of their previous game, and to improve the game's depth and graphical quality.[10] Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space was released for the PC and iPad in 2005.[11]

By 2013, the crowd-funded Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars was developed using crowdfunding.[12] The game was later released in 2015.

Reception[edit]

Strange Adventures In Infinite Space'[edit]

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space received a 77 score on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13] Computer Games Magazine praised it as a "light but oddly entertaining gaming hors d'oeuvre".[14] Writing for GameSpot, Bruce Geryk felt that "the game's short length is what makes it so engaging."[15] Tom Chick of GameSpy called it "a clever and engaging take on strategy and adventure gaming", while noting that players will see most of the game's content after a dozen play-throughs.[16] Scot Krol of PC Game World recommended the game for providing "more enjoyment in fifteen minutes than most games have in fifteen hours of play [and] a perfect example of what good gameplay means in a game".[17] Ernest Adams, writing for Gamasutra in 2005, described Strange Adventures In Infinite Space as "the perfect short game".[18] Upon the game's free re-release, Kotaku praised it as "an excellent mix of Master Of Orion-lite strategy and Star Control-inspired arcade combat".[19]

Strange Adventures In Infinite Space was a 2003 Independent Games Festival finalist for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.[20]

Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space[edit]

The sequel, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, has received a 79 score on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11] Finnish gaming publication Pelit felt that the game captured the feeling of space exploration, but was in need of more content.[21] GameZilla called it "a worthy sequel to the original excellent title", and recommended the game "for those who miss the simplicity, yet complex nature of the old Star Control titles".[22] Tyler Sager of Gaming Nexus praised the game its short experience of exploration.[23] Computer Games Magazine was critical of the game's randomness and lack of adventure, calling it a "CliffsNotes version of Star Control".[24] Kieron Gillen from Eurogamer praised the game for its "variety, excitement, thought and pace all in tiny bundle you can wolf down in a sandwich break".[25] Writing for Gamasutra, Ernest Adams praised the game for the balance between its different layers.[26]

Weird Worlds won the award for Innovation In Audio at the 2006 Independent Games Festival,[27] and was nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize that same year.[10]

Legacy[edit]

The game has been considered to be one of the first "rogue-lite" games, games that took core roguelike such as permadeath and procedural generation but adopted them to different gameplay styles that forewent the tile-based and hack-and-slash gameplay.[28][29] Writing for PC Gamer, Jody McGregor called it the "original spaceship roguelike", tracing its lineage from the Star Control series to FTL: Faster than Light.[9] FTL developer Justin Ma has cited Weird Worlds as an influence on the game's development.[30] Journalists have since made favorable comparisons between FTL and Weird Worlds.[31][9] Rock Paper Shotgun also noted the influence of Weird Worlds on The Long Journey Home, another procedurally generated space game influenced by FTL.[32][33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (2002) Windows credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  2. ^ Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. Digital Eel. 2002.
  3. ^ source on digital-eel.com
  4. ^ sais on infinitespacegames.com "After being sold for several years by Cheapass Games, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space was released as free software and its source code was made available under the GNU General Public License. Go to the Strange Adventures in Infinite Space website to download the game, source code and various other goodies"
  5. ^ strange-adventures-in-infinite-space-free on Rock, Paper, Shotgun (2009-10-07)
  6. ^ strange-adventure-in-infinite-space-v1-5-0-01-pandora-game-port on pdroms.de
  7. ^ sais on github.com
  8. ^ commit GitHub on kuroneko/sais (2020-05-18)
  9. ^ a b c Macgregor, Jody (July 19, 2020). "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is back, free". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d Hong, Quang (March 8, 2006). "Road To The IGF: Rich Carlson, Digital Eel". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  11. ^ a b "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Metacritic. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  12. ^ "About Space Time: Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars Footage". Rock Paper Shotgun. 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  13. ^ "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space". Metacritic. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  14. ^ "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space". Computer Games Magazine. October 2002. p. 75.
  15. ^ Geryk, Bruce (May 30, 2003). "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 10, 2002. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  16. ^ Chick, Tom (February 2002). "GameSpy.com - Reviews: Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (PC)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on June 1, 2002. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  17. ^ Krol, Scott (2002-08-02). "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space". PC Game World. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  18. ^ "A Perfect Short Game" in Gamasutra (September 15, 2004)
  19. ^ Wildgoose, David (2009-09-30). "LunchTimeWaster: Explore The Galaxy, For Free". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  20. ^ "IGF Competition Finalists" Archived 2015-06-11 at the Wayback Machine on igf.com in 2003
  21. ^ Nirvi, Niko (April 2006). "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Pelit. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  22. ^ Buck, Daniel (March 11, 2006). "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Gamezilla. Archived from the original on March 19, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  23. ^ Sager, Tyler (March 31, 2006). "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Gaming Nexus. Archived from the original on October 5, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Computer Games Magazine. March 2006. p. 64.
  25. ^ Gillen, Kieron (2005-12-24). "Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  26. ^ "The Designer's Notebook: Multi-level Gameplay". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  27. ^ "Weird Worlds Soundtrack Lands on Your iPod". IGN. June 2, 2008.
  28. ^ Carlson, Rich (May 2, 2005). "Making a Case for Short Games". Gamasutra. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  29. ^ Harris, John (March 22, 2016). "@Play 85: A Talk with Digital Eel, Makers of the Infinite Space Games". Gamasutra. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  30. ^ "IGF awards 2013: FTL acceptance speech for Excellence in Design award". Game Developers Conference. March 28, 2013. p. 38:42. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  31. ^ "Bon Voyage: Weird Worlds - Return To Infinite Space". Rock Paper Shotgun. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  32. ^ "The Long Journey home review". Rock Paper Shotgun. 2017-05-30. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  33. ^ "The Long Journey Home is a wonderful space odyssey". Rock Paper Shotgun. 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2021-08-04.

External links[edit]